For me personally, owning a gun was something I NEVER thought about; it didn’t even cross my mind for most of my life as a wife and mother. In fact, I was the mother that would not even allow her children to play with toy guns!
But, as so many of ours do, my life changed. Divorced with grown children, I suddenly began to realize my vulnerability and my inability to protect myself were the unthinkable to happen. My single lifestyle meant that I was going everywhere alone… to the store… to work…I was alone in my home every night…I drove 200 miles to visit my children. What would I do if my car broke down in a remote area? What would I do if…? So I began thinking seriously about my safety, and wondered about the possibility of acquiring a gun. Would I be able to use it? Could I shoot someone if I had to?
One day a friend took me to a shooting range so I could get the experience of holding and firing a gun. At first it was intimidating, but after the experience, I felt an exhilarating sense of confidence and empowerment. I knew that I was indeed capable of using a gun. From that day forward I never considered myself to be helpless again.
The statistics are overwhelming and the disturbing stories we see in the news are bound to make us stop, think and worry. My guess is that violent crime has either touched your life personally, or the life of women you know. Although I hate to dwell on such unpleasant realities, it is important to realize just how much violent crime is unleashed on women every day and why it is so very important that we take the necessary steps to protect ourselves.
Lifetime rate of rape/attempted rape for women by race: 1
Because of the confusing nature of the different state laws and crimes, verifiable statistics are hard to come by for home invasions in the United States. Some resources placed the statistics as high as 1 in 5 homes in the U.S. that will be broken into or experience some sort of home invasion. The majority of states do not categorize “home invasions” as a unique crime, but instead specify the actual crime committed once the criminals are inside the residence, such as homicide, assault, rape kidnapping, or robbery. Even with hard to find numbers I don’t believe any of us could or should assume that our home or apartment is not a candidate for a home invasion.
There were 9,321,000 reported property crimes which include burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft as reported in the U.S. Census Bureau’s Crimes and Crime Rates by Type and Geographic Community: 2009 Report (Table 307) 2
OK, so I think we have covered some concerning statistics. Links are provided below for your further research.
Do you need a gun? Once again, only you can answer that question. The fact that you are considering this very important option shows your desire to empower yourself with knowledge, and with that, you become a Well Armed Woman – with or without a gun.
The following are a selection of other web sites at which to find and verify violence against women statistics:
1 National Institute of Justice & Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. Prevalence, Incidence and Consequences of Violence against Women Survey. 1998.
2 Crimes and Crime Rates by Type of Offense http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s0306.pdf